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Praise for lifeline hospices offering Redbridge residents respite

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2016 | UPDATED: 08:16 05 October 2016

The breath-taking group is run by our physiotherapy team and it helps patients who are struggling with their breathing.

The breath-taking group is run by our physiotherapy team and it helps patients who are struggling with their breathing.

SAINT FRANCIS HOSPICE

As part of Hospice Care Week, the Recorder spoke to families and carers around the borough about the vital, but often unseen, work that goes on in hospices.

At Haven House, High Road, Woodford Green, 16-year-old Harry, who has the muscle weakening condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, praises the children’s hospice for improving his confidence.

Haven House looks after children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Harry said people shouldn’t feel nervous about attending a hospice.

“Before I visited Haven House, I thought it was going to be like a hospital and quite boring, but it’s the opposite,” he said.

“I’m really interested in art, and it’s great to come here and just paint and draw, it’s very relaxing.”

The state-of-the-art hospice includes a holistic care centre and woodland playground.

Care can be provided at any stage of a person’s illness, with Haven House offering respite, counselling, and buddy sessions for young family members.

Similarly, at Saint Francis Hospice, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, the charity offers complementary therapies, physiotherapy, counselling and arts and crafts activities, as well as the opportunity to meet new friends.

In April, the hospice – which now offers services in Redbridge – helped a woman terminally-ill with cancer marry her partner.

Sharon Cashman, 51, joined Chris Cox at the altar of the hospice’s chapel, surrounded by family and friends.

Anita McCarthy, communications executive, said: “What lots of patients and families find surprising is that they can have fun at the hospice.”

This includes a drink trolley for people on the inpatient unit, allowing them to enjoy a evening tipple of their choice.

Pam Vickers, 75, who has multiple myeloma, attends arts and craft sessions at the day unit.

She said, “Hospice care is brill. It gives you something to get dressed for and somewhere to go.

“I really enjoy meeting people.”

To see the Haven House video featuring Harry, click here.

For the Saint Francis Hospice video, click here.

See this week’s Recorder for our full Hospice Care Week feature.


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